A Domestic Abuse & Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy for Lewisham

Tonight I presented a new 5 year Domestic Abuse & Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy was agreed at Mayor & Cabinet.

It is focused on Prevent, Protect, Recover, Pursue & Partnership.

The timing of this renewed strategy to tackle domestic abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG) could not be more apt. Over the past few weeks, I have gravely followed the news as updates of the cases relating to Sarah Everard, sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, and more recently Sabina Nessa, have emerged. 

The details are horrific and to think that anybody would have to endure such terror in their last moments is truly sobering. 

While the events leading to their deaths are thankfully more rare, sadly domestic abuse and violence against women and girls is not uncommon. It is an ongoing and long lasting scourge in our society and for far too long it has not received the attention it needs. 

Domestic abuse and VAWG can take many forms and have long-lasting traumatic effects, including on children who are exposed to it. This strategy recognises that tackling the impacts and incidents of VAWG requires a holistic and multi-agency approach. 

In Lewisham we are privileged to have strong partnerships with key stakeholders and organisations across the borough with whom we can work to bring about an end to VAWG. 

Our new five year strategy will build on these partnerships to provide a more co-ordinated and strategic response to tackling violence and abuse. Focusing on Prevent, Protect, Recover, Pursue, and Partnership. We will develop our experience of what works in tackling domestic abuse and VAWG, and we will continue to ensure our work is evidence-based and meaningful. 

I would like to thank everybody who engaged with officers to shape the strategy: the survivors, local professionals and general public who took part in interviews, workshops, surveys and consultations, and scrutiny colleagues. 

I also want to use this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Charlene Noel and Emily Newell in preparing this paper. This strategy is an incredibly important piece of work for the Council and your contributions will affect many people across Lewisham for the better.

You can find out more information by clicking here.

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